Iran Interior Ministry Bans Annual Student Demonstration
Iran's interior ministry has forbidden a student demonstration planned to take place in Tehran on December 6 to mark the annual "Students Day," press reports said Sunday.
The interior ministry, charged with giving permits for all kinds of rallies, notably those of a political nature, rejected the student request, papers said, adding that the police had also issued a ban on "all gatherings."
The student gathering had been called for by the Tabarzadi Group, a banned student organization headed by a leading pro-reform student leader, Heshmatollah Tabarzadi.
This year, moderate President Mohammad Khatami is expected to address students and hold a question-and-answer session on Wednesday.
The Students Day was established in the late 1960s after riots broke out between police and students who were opposing a scheduled visit by then US president Richard Nixon. Several students were killed in the clashes.
During the past two years, student rallies have been on the rise, with students increasingly expressing their unhappiness with the massive crackdown on the press by the conservative-led courts here and the jailing of numerous prominent journalists.
In July 1999, violent clashes between students and police erupted after hardliners attacked a Tehran student dormitory where students had staged a protest gathering against the closure of the reformist Salam daily.
Several days of riots ensured, leaving at least three students dead and dozens wounded.
The clashes were the worst in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution -- TEHRAN (AFP)
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